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Maugansville overcomes 8-run deficit

July 08, 2007|By TRAVIS KING

MAUGANSVILLE - Faced with an eight-run deficit after two innings Saturday, Maugansville Little League manager Rich Montgomery knew his team still had the ability to make a comeback.

It just took a little longer than usual.

C.J. Owings' two home runs, along with clutch relief pitching, helped Maugansville rally and defeat Halfway 10-9 in eight innings at Jay W. Stouffer Field in the Maryland District 1 11-12 All-Star Tournament.

Maugansville erased 8-0 and 9-2 deficits and will travel to Clear Spring for a winners' bracket semifinal game Tuesday.

"We never give up. We've got a lot of hitting on this team," said Montgomery. "I told the boys to stay together and play as a team, and they did."

"We had plenty of opportunities to win," said Halfway manager Warren Sauble. "The boys did well. We couldn't put the bat on the ball when we needed to in the last few innings."

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Halfway put four runs on the board in the bottom of the first, keyed by Austin Marquis' RBI double. In the second, two Maugansville errors and a two-run single by Chance Younker pushed the lead to 8-0.

Maugansville scored its first runs in the third on Owings' first homer, a two-run shot to right center.

Halfway answered with a run in the bottom half. Devin Baker hit his third double of the game and scored on Younker's ground-rule double to make it 9-2.

The Maugansville comeback continued in the fourth on Derek Herbert's solo homer, and in the fifth when two runs scored on a Halfway error.

Maugansville's four-run sixth tied the game at 9. Derek Herbert led off the inning and reached second on a dropped fly ball. Consecutive singles by Troy Carbaugh, John Britton, Chad Shindle and Matt Daley made 9-8, knocking Younker from the mound. Brent Mentzer's sacrifice fly two batters later knotted the score.

As Maugansville slowly chipped away Halfway's lead at the plate, Carbaugh cooled off Halfway's bats from the mound. Carbaugh, Maugansville's third pitcher of the game, relieved Brandon Stride in the second inning and did not allow a run after the third. He allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out seven in seven innings.

Halfway pressured Carbaugh in the bottom of the sixth. Marquis led off with a double and took third on a wild pitch. With nobody out and the winning run 60 feet away, Carbaugh struck out the next three batters to force extra innings.

"Throughout the season, I've had a lot of pressure put on me," said Carbaugh. "I'm used to it by now."

Owings' solo homer in the eighth inning, his third in two playoff games, gave Maugansville its first lead and the only one it needed.

"I'm trying to just put the bat on the ball. I think I hit the second homer in the same spot as the first, so I felt really good about that," Owings said.

Halfway threatened again in the eighth, loading the bases with one out, but Carbaugh got Ryan Boward to hit into a fielder's choice, forcing the runner coming home. Nick Sauble then hit a pop fly to short on Carbaugh's 87th and final pitch to end the game.

Daley, Herbert, Carbaugh and Shindle each had two hits for Maugansville.

Younker gave up seven hits and struck out six in his five-plus innings of work for Halfway, and added three hits of his own. Halfway will travel to Sharpsburg on Monday.

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